Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Whangare Hospital welcomes St John friends

From today, patients and staff at the Whangarei Hospital Emergency Department will have the support of a new group of friends from St John.

The St John Friends of the Emergency Department service (FEDs) is being rolled out for the first time at Whangarei Hospital, where volunteers will provide comfort and support to patients and their families in the ED.

“The role varies from keeping company of a patient waiting to see a nurse, fetching a warm blanket and helping out with the delivery of meals and cups of tea, to sitting and listening, or reading to a patient,” says Nissy Concisom, St John Community Care Manager – Northern Region.

“We know that emergency departments can get very busy and patients are sometimes in distress or feeling lonely if they don’t have loved ones living nearby, so having a FED there to support and reassure them can make a real difference. In a way, our FEDs serve as a liaison between a patient and the nurses and doctors,” says Ms Concisom.

The free service was launched at Auckland Hospital in May 2002, following a successful pilot in November 2001. St John now has more than 840 FED and Hospital Friends (volunteers in smaller hospitals with no ED) in 27 hospitals across New Zealand, of which more than 200 serve in eight hospitals in the Northern Region.

“The initiative is in line with one of our core values of partnering and working side by side with other services to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities,” says Ms Concisom.

Retired couple, Richard and Eileen Thesiger were volunteers at the St John store in Huntly for four and a half years. The pair decided to sign up as FEDs after recently moving to Whangarei.

“We didn’t know anybody in Whangarei and how do you make friends? You get involved in your community. We just walked into the St John station and asked if they needed help with anything and were told this service was launching,” says Eileen.

And the pair can testify they have made friends through their volunteering and have gained a sense of accomplishment. “It's always been our commitment to help other people and the wider community. We’ve continued volunteering because we feel like we’re moving forward with St John,” says Eileen.

Whangarei Hospital is the latest of Northland District Health Board’s four hospitals to introduce St John FEDs. It follows the successful roll out of the service at Bay of Islands Hospital and Dargaville Hospital, both in 2010.

Whangarei Hospital Emergency Department clinical nurse manager Kathryn Erai says they feel very privileged to finally have FEDs coming to work alongside them in the department.

“We really appreciate them giving up their own time to offer comfort cares like a cup of tea, blanket or a sandwich to patients and families in need who are often here on their own.”

FED volunteers generally work a four hour shift once a week or fortnightly. Individuals wanting to volunteer for St John can contact Stephen.robinson@stjohn.org.nz or phone 0800 ST JOHN ext. 8930.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Buying Ventilators, And Expanding The Testing For Covid-19

Before getting into recent developments….. who knew that Covid-19 was so powerful it could make NZ parliamentarians act like adults, and make them pose intelligent questions to officials and Cabinet Ministers about issues of public interest? Wowzah. Yet that’s what happened yesterday during the first session of the Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) which allows the Opposition (and a few backbench MPs) to critically scrutinise the government’s response to Covid-19. If normality ever returns, could we make Parliament be more like this, and less like the usual Question Time circus in the House..?More>>


Government: Seeking Infrastructure Projects

The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say...More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>






InfoPages News Channels